You may be familiar with Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” For most social sector leadership teams, the question isn’t why you should develop a strategic plan, but rather how can you develop a strategy that will drive your organization to reach its mission as fast as possible.

Our clients have big goals. For example, Western Youth Services aspires to reduce the number of children with diagnosable mental health conditions in half in this generation. Mid-Ohio Foodbank wants to co-create a healthy community where everyone thrives. Big goals require bold actions, and these organizations are intentional in ensuring that every effort and dollar spent will lead to achieving these big goals.

A solid data-driven strategy leads to the fastest and most efficient path to success. Measurement Resource’s approach helps clients minimize risk and take significant action, because they have the data and insights to back up their decisions. As a result, our clients report making significant improvements to complex social problems in record time. Through the planning process, they have rooted their strategy on addressing the real needs of their stakeholders; they have identified and leveraged their unique strengths and impacts; and they have adopted an ongoing, iterative approach to strategic planning.

Not surprisingly, Measurement Resources is first and foremost data-driven in its approach. We ensure that staff and stakeholders have ample opportunity to provide input into the future visioning of the organization, with an end game of creating a culture at every level of the organization that is focused on high-performance. Here is an overview of our recipe for a successful strategic planning process.

What We Do First: Analyze the Current State of the Organization
The first step is to understand the current state of an organization. From surveying key stakeholders to conducting phone interviews with sub-sets of staff and reviewing the organization’s current data and documentation, Measurement Resources’ team members offer fresh, unbiased perspective. Our team then analyzes the information, along with secondary data to formulate the organizational environmental report, which is critical for guiding discussions and working toward the future strategies of the organization.

What We Do Well: Define Strategic Choices and Focus
As Measurement Resources guides clients through facilitated discussions to explore the desired future state, we leverage our expertise and insights from working with hundreds of organizations nationwide. During a facilitated retreat, we guide the organization’s leadership through a gap analysis and help them identify up to five strategic priorities for the next three years, that will contribute to the organization’s realization of its desired long-term outcomes.

And because we’re able to remain objective, we can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that organizations can run up against. From circular conversations to wayward bunny trail expeditions, we help you stay on track, focused and driving toward the outcomes you want to achieve.

How Our Clients Are Better Off: Action-oriented Planning and Alignment of Systems and Processes
Once the vision and strategic direction is set, Measurement Resources leads a second facilitated session to focus on the best ways to achieve the organization’s top priorities. Obstacles that are, or could be, preventing the achievement of the vision are identified, and measurable goals are aligned with the vision and strategic goals.

From the organization’s culture and leadership to the organization’s performance and outcome measurement protocols, the organization sets forth plans for aligning its structure and processes to ensure comprehensive implementation of the strategy. By clearing away obstacles straightaway, and by putting an action-oriented plan into motion, our clients come out of our strategic planning engagements well on their way to becoming even higher-performing organizations that spend more time celebrating their many social impact successes.

Measurement Resources is a trusted organizational development and research partner who wants to help your organization achieve excellence in the social sector. Contact us today to schedule a face-to-face meeting to explore your organization’s strategic planning needs.